tv [untitled] April 18, 2011 11:00pm-11:30pm EDT
again flared up. these are the images the world has been seeing from the streets of canada. operations are today. hello i'm tom hartman in washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture it's nicknamed the port of opportunities the city of benton harbor michigan is experiencing massive drop of losses like the entire government of the city the hump this happened plus we received a break this tax season with an extra couple of days to file but that's the only break we'll see i'll tell you why top billionaires and millionaires are paying less taxes while you and i are feeling the wealth and paul ryan strikes again this time
in federal food assistance programs i'll explain how much food he plans to strip from american dinner tables and who is the dead woman from whom he's taking his orders. you need to know this democracy is on the march out of michigan republican governor rick snyder is using the new powers recently granted to him by the republican state legislature to take over a city to fire its elected representatives bust up unions cut critical government services is part of snyder's plan to reduce his state's budget deficit by putting cities that are struggling financially on a fast track to his idea of a libertarian utopia or a nightmare the first victim of governor snyder is the city of baton harbor
michigan as of friday the powers of the city boards and commissions of benton harbor have been usurped by a financial manager appointed by governor rick snyder and financial manager although not elected by the people of benton harbor now has the authority over. all alike that city officials have been harbor and can break union contracts cut city services sell off large chunks of the city to private corporations without any oversight so how can something like this happen in a democracy in the united states of america for more i'm joined up for more on this i'm joined by benton harbor city commissioner dennis knowles and editor of the michigan message messenger edward that us ed welcome. here today really appreciate both you being here with me ed it if first if you could just give us an overview of what happened. i mean yeah as i was as a reporter here well if you. lose your best distributors the bears are attributable
to you truly yours unprecedented powers to the state appointed for interim manager cetera that are assigned to sir oversee a local communities public school systems that are in financial careless certainly berbers had a great deal for going to this emerging leaders put in place since long before this bill was passed and we've had furniture editor for a long time but this new bill gives them extraordinary unprecedented powers over everything that goes on and so friday night at about five o'clock in the evening you know just am trying to miss all the major media. the press releases put off to the murders for their careers or their him or her already should know who are elected board the city planning commission zoning commission anywhere you city your council school go if you can can do anything other than call a meeting to order and take the minutes they can't pass anything else ok that's amazing that us as a as a city commissioner what's your response to this. oh the response is this this is
the end of democracy and the we the people was taken out of the constitution. the saddest part about this particular bill and then of course this. order by those of o'hare us from the state is that it takes away the rights representation of the people for the people by the people as well as it takes away the rights of people to even have a voice or even be a voice themselves as i've seen the words financial matters are and his doings and . along the way he's got into bed with corporations this is a mandate that is happening throughout the whole country when you look at governments and corporations do not mistake in the. fact that it has times that even governing officials in the city have been harder had not gotten by way of vote
and give away in fact the bodies. in the past as well as in the present. but this is an expeditious acceleration of what has gone on in the past with those of the harris who makes a lot of thousand dollars per month and we the people pay that the bills as well as private eyes ation. informants meaning contracting out services diminishing public safety in a crime ridden area cross training of police and fire departments does not work in my studies in austin say it's a proven fact that i have insurance ratings go up in minnesota polities where you have less and suppression of public safety. in the case of those of harris the state you have now with the public act for which a allows more hours to the emergency financial manager it has
a lot more arrogance it is a lot of the lessening again government the listening of the public safety of the people we also see in this area of the harbor surest project which is another group who aspect this is the corporation here who have called me and i could if i could just interrupt you for a minute to. provide a little bit of a frame here and in fact get get ed back in on this ed over and over and over again across america we've seen large corporations play city off against city state off against state off saying you know if you give us more tax abatements we'll move to your state you know boeing went through a couple years ago three different cities you know they was going to give us the last hundreds of millions of dollars. to what extent has. had to have the development project that the commissioner was talking about whirlpool corporation the these organizations my understand have got
a number of tax breaks and abatements and things from from the community. hey doesn't this isn't this the kind of thing that makes it more difficult to govern a community when you're losing your tax base has been given away in order to keep the jobs in town. or you know you know that they're over there you mentioned earlier sure thrower incredible situation that happened over the last three or four years that we finished investor has been covering in great detail. for today what else there was but we're basically is the biggest bully of the ark in the better harbor area other quarters where fred upton a local it was the river search that area in congress is an heir to the whirlpool fortune and we should get a public park. was deeded to the city under condition that it remain a public her forever and sold off a huge chunk of it to private developers to put in a private golf course. in exchange gave them a couple of dozen eaters of other land it turned out to be highly contaminated from
their factory we're now paying to clean up at public expense this is actually kind of the you know this happened before the stewards image or our theme and this is the kind of thing that emergency financial manager could do if they come into a city and say well the city says you know got some major problems hey one of the ways we make up for it will sell off a public park to a private corporation to develop into a golf course and make some money that way for the city we don't hire leading teams and a little getting access to the turks for what it was lives and so forth all to la and you know the perfect council for corporate benefactors and there is actually a philosophy that rick snyder and others of you know other conservatives in the state subscribe to that if greed is the highest motivator and if it's being done by a corporation the outcome will be the very best you know that the that it'll be more efficient is the way they talk about it commissioner commissioner knowles
how do you. know this. power has been taken from me you're the elected e.u.r. one of the alighted people in an inner never happened so we have left here how do you and the other commissioners i realize that there's no legal way to respond to this right now that what snyder has done is legal but is there are there any other ways that you can think of to respond to sure anyways the responsibility upon us being the governing body who were elected by the people is to take this out of the state of michigan we need to take this hopefully the department of justice. i already have the ear of the a.c.l.u. . as well as others now listening from the outside looking in a sense this is a travesty this could happen to us across the country as it is with people in madison wisconsin so these are those that are talking. i'm sorry pardon my
interrupting oh it's ok seconds left i want to say this that to all the american people do not lose your freedoms your freedom is not it uproots in fact is something next you have to fight for this dog american people patriotism starts in the house you must learn and understand the power of the vote was it's extracted you lay it is taken you become a nomad of third world country in america you know very very well so that's what's happened is the vote of the people down the harbor has been taken away from them by the governor and by this legislation. a very very very very quickly illegal charge actually has been filed. by two pension to the city of detroit so there is a legal structure to show you still that's. an overtrick oh fantastic. commissioner thank you thank you gentlemen both for being with us tonight. thank
you much appreciate it very snyder has been governor of michigan for barely four months and he's already using his power to take a city over over a city in his state and kill the democratic process or paul walker no republican rule in america much closer to the ideals of napoleon and the ideals of jefferson speaking of the ideals of jefferson let's just you know get right into it i mean you know thomas jefferson said here just a few quotes these are just some simple you know these are some of his letters actually most i'm from the eight hundred sixty this is after he was president he wrote the article nearest my heart is the division of counties and awards is that we pure in elementary republics the sum of which together compose the state so what he's talking about here is breaking break you know is breaking everything down to the lowest level in other words the at the at the city level people get to vote at the ward level he goes on to say the division awards constituting the people in their wards are regularly organized power. enables them by that organization to
crush now he's talking about what happens if the state goes nuts what happens if the federal government goes nuts what if what happens at the county goes that allows them to enables them by that organization to crush regularly and peaceably usurpations their faithful agents and rescues them from the dreadful necessity of doing it in your insurrection only in other words no need for insurrection no need for revolution if the power is at the lowest level here's another promise jefferson divide the counties and awards in such sizes every citizen going to town when called on and act in person another each ward with must be a small republic within itself an every man in the state would thus become an acting member of the common government transacted in person a great portion of its rights and duties and you know he continues on that one and there's there isn't another you know if i could jefferson quotes all day long it was the last of these this is actually this is i think perhaps the most important
because here he's talking not just about how important it is that government be local which is the exact opposite of what the republicans are doing right now bizarrely but also that education free public aid education is at the core of all these things and one of the things that's on the agenda of many of these republicans is to privatized the schools in these towns sell off the corporations run a mist charter schools he says these there are two subjects indeed which i will claim a right to further as long as i breed but public education and the subdivision of counties and awards i consider the continuance of republican governments government as absolutely hanging on these two books. pretty straightforward stuff and when you look at it what's going on in michigan is really fundamentally the exact opposite of the ideal that the founders of this country had it's the exact opposite of what
used to be called conservatism it's the exact opposite of thinking from the from the enlightenment it is as i said earlier like napoleon ricks rick snyder governor of michigan has set himself up essentially as a dictator and he's hiring private guys for eleven thousand bucks a month to go in and take over a city and then just sell off whatever they want this is fundamentally wrong and now we hear that there are other states where there are republican legislatures and republican governors that are talking about or planning on doing the very same thing we need to wake up america we need to wake up america fast. it's time for our daily poll your chance to tell us what you think here's today's question is a democracy when governor snyder fires elected representatives busts unions and
cuts critical government's services your choices are yes welcome to republican rule it looks more like the pollie in the jefferson or no this does not all look like democracy and it has to be stopped so far eighty percent voted yes but i got into a crowd with this don't you think poll will be open until tomorrow morning. sarah palin spoke this week at a tea party rally in madison wisconsin ground zero the nationwide war on labor unions and the mainstream media was pale and calls of the lame stream media did quite a job in making her look really good actually when covering a rally the media can use the audio from the crowd to make someone either look really good or really bad case in point two thousand and six democratic presidential primary howard dean take a look. we're going to south carolina and oklahoma and arizona are going through new york road right california first let me you're going to throw out the border
but all right good job. everybody watching right back. dean was secured for showing a little bit of emotion and a political rally by just taking the audio from dean's microphone and karine known or very little of the crowd noise was the media that made it look like dean was leaning into a quiet room it made him into a buffoon even though there wasn't a shred of truth to it as joel roberts from c.b.s. news said about the coverage of the dean rally what you are not hearing is a room with thousands of people screaming and cheering what you are not seen are hundreds upon hundreds of american flags waving but you are not hearing are members of the audience shouting out state names urging dean to listen or what you are not seen is the way dean supporters were lifted out of their slump by the speech in a nutshell you are not seen the dean speech that the tone of the room
as you can see coverage of an event can make someone look really good or really bad and unfortunately for howard dean the need you chose to use only his close in microphone audio to make him look really bad and to derail this presidential campaign. now back to sarah palin check out how the media covered her rally in madison over the weekend but it's he party rally in wisconsin former alaska governor sarah palin energized the madison crowd a few minutes ago by issuing a challenge to her she was the g.o.p. establishment with not. so far as it is to the g.o.p. establishment first you think of the g.o.p. establishment. pailin speaking in madison wisconsin says the president's not doing enough to address the country's mounting fiscal woes. and we believe he finds even on this debt
crisis the only future in the uk obama is trying to do am is the only real action he's willing to forget your children's future to ensure its own and that is not the audacity of hope that this is the. typical sailor sarah palin in front of a receptive audience longing for every word that comes out of the above right but if that was really going on. take a look at the view from another camera covering hail and speech this one within the crowd that she was addressing.
with. amazing the difference that cutting out the crowd noise is by only using a tight mike can make bail and was practically booed back it was still up at the ever c.n.n. or fox news viewer has no clue andrew breitbart who opened for paling was so incensed that they were being shouted down that he screamed to the crowd that they should all go to hell i'll bet you didn't see this on face the nation. going to hell. yes. you. so much for speer appealing claiming there's a bias against her in the mainstream media. i mean up buying taxes can be already obtained a pain more of the filthy rich. just downright heartbreaking you might want to have your columns on him but the story of the.
it is tax day and guess is not fair paying their fair share millionaires billionaires and transnational corporations let's take a look at this historical chart of the top income tax rates for the wealthiest americans the wealthiest corporations and the wealthiest hedge fund managers check this out this nine hundred sixteen comes right up to two thousand and ten in the yellow here we have income tax rates this is corporate tax rates and then this is capital gains rate this is the rate of investors paid the tax rate that they pay and what you see here is that in the roaring twenty's be the income tax was dropped the corporate taxes dropped the capital gains was dropped what did that do it led to a giant bubble that burst in one nine hundred twenty nine crash now do from the one
nine hundred forty s. all the way up into the race up until the reagan time we had a time of incredible stability and then boom reagan crash the taxes and what has happened we've had bubble after bubble burst after burst it's just nuts now let's take a look at the average income for the richest four hundred americans our nation's oligarchy. this is from one thousand nine hundred five to two thousand and seven we started six this is income in billions of dollars the average income for each one of the four hundred richest americans from six billion dollars in one nine hundred ninety five up to twenty two billion dollars in two thousand and seven so their income is going up these the four hundred richest are the american oligarchy their income is going up dramatically you would think maybe their taxes would go up think again but the richest of the richest of the rich in america have seen more and more money what's happen to their tax rate bingo nine hundred ninety five they were
paying almost thirty percent in and this is what actually was paid this isn't like the formal tax rate this is what's actually paid after they've gotten all their loopholes drilled into it which is why this has been going down i mean obviously you had the bush tax cuts here and the extension of them but this this you can just basically just see how it's working i mean this is this is the end of the the of the clinton era and boom right across we go so taxes now are sixteen point six two percent so while america's oligarchy have seen their tax rate drop by thirteen percent last decade to half the current tax rates of the rest of the scene . try just a tiny little point six reduction less than one percent of the average american who doesn't have a nine zero zero bank account has seen their average income tax rate go from nine point nine percent back in the ninety's to nine point two percent today barely any
change at all and add insult to injury and we're talking real injury many poor americans will see their taxes go up this year because middle class tax breaks expired last year like one that exempts the first twenty four hundred dollars of unemployment benefits that's right you get taxed on your unemployment benefits you have no job you have no income on your own but the government will still tax your lifeline of unemployment insurance rather than raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires by just a couple percentage points tax and unemployment benefits is a neat little invention of ronald reagan back in one thousand nine hundred six it was one of the eleven tax hikes on poor and middle class americans that reagan snuck through with the media and virtually no attention to it at all it was one of the eleven tax hikes on board middle class americans the reagan needed to pass to pay for dropping the top income tax rate on the richest americans from seventy percent to twenty eight percent give rich people a forty two percent tax cut pay for it by making people who don't have jobs pay
taxes on their unemployment insurance fact in one thousand nine hundred four reagan also started taxing social security benefits again to pay for his massive tax cuts to america's olive groves that's why ronald reagan owns the dubious distinction literally of being the only president in american history to drop taxes for the rich while raising taxes for the poor he was our first reverse robin hood president . at least ronald reagan did one thing right with taxes and raise them on corporations back in one thousand nine hundred six pretty much forced to but nonetheless that's right reagan raised corporate taxes believing take a look. we're going to make it economical to raise children to get. better rates will need more reward for that extra effort and vanishing loopholes in the minimum tax will mean that everybody and every corporation pay their fair share reagan raised corporate taxes by
a one hundred twenty billion dollars and close three hundred billion dollars for the loopholes what a socialist if but since then thanks to a legion of lobbyists corporations have managed to wriggle the tax code more loopholes and you can count making the thirty five percent corporate tax rate the rate the republicans claim is the highest of the more old a bad joke the real tax rate that corporations pay in america today is closer to twelve percent one of the lowest in the developed world and that doesn't include insanely profitable corporations like g.e. boeing bank of america citigroup wells fargo who paid nothing in taxes so if your military taxes today pause a moment to remember who's not paying their fair share the corporate elite and their multi-millionaire c.e.o.'s. just.
sign for the good the bad and the insanely ugly the good power shift and you can use the activist movement focused on shifting america's energy focus from fossil fuels to clean technology converge in washington d.c. this weekend and set their sights on shutting down b.p. in protest to be species receiving a ten billion dollars tax refund for cleaning up the mess that they created in the gulf. lash model protesters showed up at a b.p. gas station in georgetown and shut it down. me. i think. between this latest action against b.p. and us on cots actions against g.e. and bank of america the corporate backlash is in full swing in america heated up guys and. the bad republican congressman allen west side
spewing hate speech against muslims appears west is also interested in destroying the american economy in an interview over the weekend wes was asked about the dangers of not raising the debt ceiling and made it known the republicans should risk it to bargain for more tax cuts. but i think also now is a great saw when we can cut our corporate business tax rate and half bring it from thirty five percent delta twenty to twenty twenty to twenty two percent because it's right now is the time to risk crashing our economy so the transnational corporations that pretty much already pays zero in taxes can somehow pay less than soon. and the very very ugly steve doocy a gang of five some friends got the memo this morning it's time to legitimize donald trump and the earth herbs. he could simply just show joy to be able to give to get thank you very much steve i appreciate that. the president has shown
us the birth certificate they just do see completed his training of fox news the requires all anchors to ignore evidence if it comes from a democrat i always knew that fox would so-called news would give a platform to the birth but i never thought they'd go birth of themselves that's a very very. coming up if you're in downtown d.c. today you probably noticed a sea of green making its way through the streets. and details beyond a product and the environmental protest movement after the birth. let's not forget that we had an apartheid regime right in the.